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Would you share how you received your diagnosis? My mother died with pancreatic cancer in 1998 and it remains one of my biggest fears. Her physicians planned to do a Whipple, but discovered during surgery that the cancer had spread everywhere. She only lived three months after the diagnosis. I am told that my brother and I could be at a higher risk of developing PC and we are wondering if there are any signs to watch for in order to get an earlier diagnosis.

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Replies to "Would you share how you received your diagnosis? My mother died with pancreatic cancer in 1998..."

That girl, just to add my diagnosis story, I first started having pain just under the rib cage on the right side as well as some digestive issues in July 2018. There were some changes in bathroom habits, such as urgency, grayish soft stools, undigested food (one learns to talk freely about poop when we have pancreatic cancer). I had endoscopy, which was normal and subsequent reassurance from my physician. When symptoms persisted I had an ultrasound of gallbladder which was also normal. Again I was reassured nothing was wrong. Throughout the fall of 2018 symptoms continued and I started using a heating pad on my stomach to ease the pain so that I could sleep. A colonoscopy in October was normal and again I was reassured and told that we may never find the cause of belly pain. Finally, after being pretty assertive, I was given a CT scan in December and that showed a mass on the head of the pancreas. A biopsy confirmed it was an adenocarcinoma and I received this news on January 2 of 2019. It took months to get my diagnosis because I think there are many causes of belly pain and few of them serious, so it took some assertiveness on my part for them to keep looking. This is a relatively rare cancer, but there is no screening tool for it, and presenting symptoms can be ambiguous. Please don't live in fear, but if you should develop symptoms that you know something isn't quite right, be your own advocate.

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